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Versatile ex-SA U20 prop de Bruin agrees reunion with Diamond

By Josh Raisey
Luan de Bruin of Leicester Tigers looks on during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Leicester Tigers and Connacht Rugby at Welford Road on April 03, 2021 in Leicester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

Newcastle Falcons have signed Edinburgh prop Luan de Bruin ahead of next season on a two-year deal.

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The 31-year-old will arrive at Kingston Park to fill the void left by Phil Brantingham, who is set to join Saracens at the end of the season.

De Bruin, a former South Africa U20 international, will team up with Falcons consultant director of rugby Steve Diamond again, who worked with Edinburgh last season.

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The 128kg prop will play primarily as a loosehead for the Falcons, but is capable of moving across the scrum and playing as a tighthead, which is a rare quality in modern rugby and invaluable with squad restraints.

This will be de Bruin’s second stint in the Gallagher Premiership, following one season at Leicester Tigers before moving to the Scottish capital in 2021.

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“I’m very excited to be returning to the Gallagher Premiership, and to be working with Steve Diamond again,” de Bruin said after signing.

“He’s a hard man but he’s very fair, and that’s all you can ask for.

“I really enjoyed my time playing in the Premiership with Leicester Tigers a few years back, and I was always keen to do it again if the opportunity came up.

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“I’ve played against Newcastle a couple of times, and it’s always a tough battle. You know you’re going to get a hard, physical game, and you better be ready playing against any Falcons side.

“I know that’s the type of mentality I will find when I link up with Newcastle in the summer, especially with Dimes in charge. He’ll work us hard but we’ll have fun doing it, and he will put us on the path towards positive results.”

Diamond added: “I had Luan up at Edinburgh and he really impressed me during that time.

“We’re signing him predominantly as a loose-head, although he does have the ability to play on the other side.

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“He comes with the right pedigree after playing at Leicester, Edinburgh and the Cheetahs, and he does the basics well. He’s got plenty of experience and he’s a great fit for Micky Ward’s forward pack.

“He’s a strong scrummager, defends well, he’s big and mobile and gets over the gain line with his carrying. I’m looking forward to working with him again and seeing the impact he can make for us.”

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Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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